Can I Come Take A Nap At YOUR House?

My father and I have just returned from a two-day ill-fated trip to Maine, which was supposed to be a three-day lazy poke-around-in-the-nooks sort of trip. Of course, as Murphy’s Law dictates, it started raining shortly after we left Boston, and continued to get worse as we drove–which meant that my father got depressed and turned around, and I am back in Boston with one more day off left. When I first got here, I was elated–we drove into the city and were greeted by the ominous black cloud that precedes a thunder storm, my favorite sort of weather. Though I was disappointed that my father did not have a good time, as the trip was his idea and he’s been looking forward to it for weeks, I was relieved to still have some time before the beginning of my work week, the weather was ideal, I’d just scored a new leather jacket (for an unbelievable $75), and it was mid-afternoon, leaving me with plenty of time to take a much-needed nap before heading off to a movie or some other rainy-evening endeavor.

The thing is, my father is a morning person. A five o’clock in the morning person. Which means that yesterday morning, after having gone to sleep at two a.m., I was awake at six and sitting in a car, listening to my dad talk. I think I might have talked back, but I couldn’t tell you what I said because I had the approximate mental acuity of a grapefruit. My father is also a principled traveler: when traveling with him, one must not read, listen to a portable music device, sleep, talk on the cell phone, or any other such activity that does not involve either talking to him, listening to him talk, or looking out the window. By the time we reached Camden, Maine, late yesterday afternoon, I was a pretty useless human being–so useless that when we dove into our motel room beds for a much-needed nap, I couldn’t sleep. Nor could I sleep last night when I went to bed at midnight and lay awake until about two a.m. listening to my father snore. Six a.m. came around and he was awake, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and pissed off that the weather was still bleak. I woke, showered, attempted to smear a smile across my drooping face and climbed back in the car. And listened to him talk. For another seven hours. But, as I mentioned earlier, when I got home, the sky was a brilliant and joyful shade of black, and the rain was coming down hard enough to lull me into a peaceful and prolonged sleep. I didn’t have to smear the smile, it was there.

Five minutes later, my roommate (I think I’m going to start calling him “Murphy”) came home. My roommate who likes to mix arbitrary harsh synthesizer sounds, seemingly endlessly, and seemingly only when I am in desperate need of sleep. My roommate who, when approached and asked politely if he can turn down his [what can only be called noise–and I have a liberal definition of the word “music”] responds that he should be able to play whatever he wants during “normal” hours, and I am the rude one for expecting him to turn it down, as it’s “weird” to want to sleep in the late afternoon. My roommate who I’m convinced has lost part of his hearing, which is the only possible way to account for the deafening and bone-rattling volume at which he plays sounds which create visceral reactions, even at low volumes, in most people.

So here I sit, in my room, afraid to begin an argument which I know I will lose, listening to distorted amp-buzz and eighties wee-oo sound effects, with NO RHYTHM WHATSOEVER, at a volume which can likely be heard in New Hampshire. A friend who I talked to on the phone during this onslaught informed me, unsurprisingly, that this particular form of audio assault is one way that torturers extort information out of prisoners–by playing music or sounds at extremely high volume, with no predictable rhythm or regularity, until they crack….

I stole a pack of gum when I was five. I stole hundreds of dollars worth of things from stores on Martha’s Vineyard between the ages of 12 and 15. I once changed a fifty dollar bill and the cashier gave me a hundred back and I said nothing. I pay my phone bill a week after it’s due EVERY MONTH. I’ve been the other woman, though I didn’t know it at the time. Last semester I sort-of cheated and handed in a paper I’d written for another school two years ago, and collected another A without doing a minute’s work. I run red lights on my bicycle every day, and I curse at drivers when I’m probably the one in the wrong. If you want to know my friends’ and family’s sins, I’ll tell you them too, just MAKE IT FUCKING STOP.

If anyone happens to drive by my house and find an extremely expensive keyboard smashed to shards on the sidewalk, rest assured that I am sleeping, in comparative comfort, on a concrete bench in the closest jail. Do not bail me out until I’ve been in for at least twelve hours–I need the sleep.

~ by saltgirlspeaks on 16 May, 2007.

2 Responses to “Can I Come Take A Nap At YOUR House?”

  1. This is why – well, an exemplification of why – I have sworn off roommates. I know, I know, it’s a luxury to live alone but, darn it, I likes me my naps.

  2. Very hard to read fine print on black background !!

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